Ghazal 322x, Verse 8


juu;N buu-e gul huu;N garchih giraa;N-bar-e musht-e zar
lekin asad bah vaqt-e guzashtan jariidah huu;N

1) like the scent of a rose, although I am heavily-laden with a fistful of 'gold',
2) but still, Asad, at the time of passing, I am unencumbered/'bare'


giraa;N-baar : 'Heavily-laden; fruit-bearing; ... wealthy; grave, serious; deliberate, cool'. (Platts p.902)


jariidah : 'Bare; solitary, alone, separate, unattended (when travelling), unencumbered'. (Platts p.380)


jariidah : 'A branch of a palm-tree stripped of the leaves; ... only, alone, bare, free from worldly attachment, deprived of relations and friends; expeditious'. (Steingass p.361)


Although like the rose, in my hand or in my fist too is gold. The 'gold of the flower' [zar-e gul] is those yellow leaves that are in the middle of the flower, which are also called 'pollen of the flower'. But just as when the scent takes its leave and goes, then it goes alone, and takes nothing with it, in the same way at the time of going I too am single and alone, and will not take anything or anybody with me.

== Asi, p. 173


As long as the scent of the rose is in the bud it is a heavy-laden fistful of 'gold', but when this scent breaks open the bud and emerges then it is lightweight. That is, although to some extent I am weighted down with worldly relationships, at the time of dying I will go lightweight. His hope for the future, he has expressed on the basis of reality, in the 'tongue of the condition'.

== Zamin, p. 254

Gyan Chand:

In a flower there is pollen, which is called the 'gold of the flower' [zar-e gul]. For there to be gold in the fist is a sign of a rich man. Near its origin, the scent of the rose is filled with a fistful of 'gold'; but having moved away, it remains empty. Just this is my situation too: although I have gold, at the time of passing from the world I am entirely alone; at that time I will have no riches or gold.

== Gyan Chand, p. 280



For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}. See also the overview index.

The wordplay in the first line between the 'gold of the flower' [zar-e gul], and 'gold' as coins or money, is well explained by the commentators. (It is of course 'meaning-play' too.)

But the real punch of the verse comes only at the last possible moment (as so often) with the rhyme-word jariidah , 'bare', which can apply to many forms of stripped-downness and solitariness (see the definitions above). It can have either a positive valence ('free from worldly attachment', 'unencumbered') or a negative one ('deprived of relations and friends', 'alone'). What tilts the balance toward the positive here is the simile of the beautiful, admirable scent of the rose.

Compare the use of a similarly-positioned 'naked' [((uryaa;N] in other verses; for examples, see {6,1}.